Pups and Kittens Visit the Island University for Paws on the Island

Published: May 14, 2017

Pups and Kittens Visit the Island University for Paws on the Island

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Recognizing the huge amount of stress that students go through around finals time, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi held its biannual Paws on the Island stress relief event on Tuesday, May 2. The University invited therapy dogs from Paws Up Inc., as well as kittens from the Cattery to campus for the event. This semester marks the first time the Cattery was invited to the event.

“For stress relief, some people prefer the dogs while others like chilling with the cats,” said Samantha Person, Shelter Director of the Cattery. “Events like this also help our cats get used to being around people and makes them more social.”

Gingersnap, Fergie and Lima Bean are the names of the three kittens the Cattery brought out to the event. Each was a stray brought in to the shelter for a second chance at life.

“These three cats are all outgoing and we picked them specifically for this event,” said Person. “They don’t have the ‘I’m shy and my owner surrendered me’ type of story. They’re just really outgoing babies.”

Paws Up brought its own selection of great dogs to spend time with stressed students. One of the enthusiastic and friendly dogs at the event was named Frankie, a large corgi with multicolored eyes.

“Frankie has been coming to this event since it started,” said Priscilla Babbitt, Paws Up volunteer and owner of Frankie. “This is one of his favorite gigs and he’s pretty well-known around campus.”

Frankie joined Paws Up as a therapy dog when he was a year old after a friend of Babbitt’s noticed how perfect he would be for the role with his calm and friendly demeanor. After years of visiting the university, Frankie has amassed a good number of fans.

“My cousin, my fiancé and I were so set on seeing Frankie,” said Jacquelyn, a junior animal biology major. “I got to see him and play with him and I can’t stop smiling.”

During the event, there were also multiple stations with stress relief activities for students to partake in while waiting to see the dogs or cats. Some activities included coloring books, temporary tattoos, puzzles and a build-your-own stress ball station.

The Mary and Jeff Bell Library and University Counseling Center co-host Paws on the Island held each semester to help reduce student stress during finals. During the event, information was also available about the University Counseling Center and its services.